Since I've Been Gone, pt. II
On an aside, a few things have come to mind in my time here in Detroit-Metro International Airport.
1. Beautiful, blonde, beer-drinking women make the world go 'round. They do. I know it.
I sat down at Chili's, Too for a quick bite and for some reason, the seat next to me stayed fallow until this very pretty blonde girl, wearing one of those "chic" psuedo-retro t-shirts with the iron-on letters spelling out "Louisiana Is For Lovers" took the spot. She ordered a Bud Light and was asked for her ID. She was 28. She was blonde. She was from Louisiana. She was carrying Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions. But it doesn't matter, really. She was beautiful, blonde, beer-drinking, and it made my day.
2. TI's "Bring 'Em Out" is not just the song I've heard roughly 2,500 times since November, 2004. It is just universally a great song, not just for the 4:00 mark when your favorite college basketball team comes out of the tunnel for their last pre-game layup lines. It's great for people-watching. And ESPECIALLY for people who are people-watching people who are on those people-moving sidewalks. And ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY when you're stationed at the end of the moving sidewalks, watching an entire population trip and stumble. Welcome to today's episode of Airport Schadenfreude.
3. Nothing by Bright Eyes is universally anything. That's semi-nihilist, and mostly accurate. Not to say I don't like the guy, sometimes I just don't get it.
Ok, back to the X-Mas blog and where did I leave off? Oh that's right...
Pulling my one bag behind, I hauled ass to the Continental ticket gate.
In a former life, I was a runner. By runner, I mean "guns-goes-off and I try to hurry back across fields and up hills and stuff" kind of running. Frank Shorter. Bill Rodgers.
This time, I was a running back. I was finding holes like Barry Sanders, cutting back like Reggie Bush, and leaping and dodging folks like OJ Simpson in the Hertz commercial a few years back where he was in an airport (one main difference between me and the Juice was the lack of a dead white girl on my conscience 20 years later on my birthday, but I digress)
It was impressive. One of the skycaps had my 40 time at 4.4.
I got to the ticket desk and a long line greeted me. 10:42. I left my bags unattended - generally a pretty unwelcome action in airports these days - and ran to the gate. I think the woman knew I was late, knew I was the only guy who hadn't checked into Continental flight 1619, and answered my questions before I even asked:"Hi, I..."
CHECK IN NOW BEFORE THEY CLOSE THE FLIGHT OUT..."But, I need to..."
DON'T WORRY ABOUT YOUR BAGS, GET THEM LATER..."I'm checking..."
I HAVE YOUR BAGs COMING RIGHT NOW (amazingly, she did.)"Ok, which gate..."
GO TO THE EMPLOYEES ONLY GATE, TELL THEM YOU'RE LATE"Mer..."
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU, TOO, SIR.
Amazing. I continue the Corey Dillon imitiation throughout the terminal, run past all sorts of folks, including prep basketball stat Greg Oden (he tall), and make it to my gate, where I find myself in severe anaerobic pain...and a 15 minute delay. Time enough to slip into the President's Club for a couple of donuts and a couple cups of coffee (I just exercised, I earned it), and perhaps a call to my folks to let them know I made my flight...that is, when I was able to absorb some oxygen into my blood.
The flight was crowded, but quick. Just an hour and a half later, plus an hour due to the whole time zone thing, I arrived in Newark's Terminal C. It was 2:10.
A quick glance of the departure screens had my connector to Providence at Gate A119 at 2:40. Plenty of time.
Not quite. To get to Terminal A from C, you need to take the AirTrain. To take the AirTrain, you need to leave the secure area. To get back into the secure area, you have to go through security. And to go through security, you needed to wait along with the rest of the 10,000 people who needed to get through. Timecheck: 2:20. I'm going to miss my flight.
And an aside, which engineering genius thought it would be a great idea to require a security re-check going from terminal to terminal? I mean, really, who throws a shoe? When in Rome.
I see a guy pacing back and forth, with an airport employee ID card hanging from a lanyard, and a "I Heart Continental Passengers" button. I decided to test that theory.
"Hi, I'm going to miss my flight." After a quick glance at my boarding pass, he replied: "Yes, you are."
Not quite the response I was looking for. If I wanted to hear that, I'd have looked for the guy with the "I Tell Continental Passengers Bad News" button.
I asked it there was anything he could do, even suggested using the employee security entrance, like the Archangel of the Airport in O'Hare had set up for me. He walked me to that gate, in spite of the dirty looks from the folks in the cattle line and the general dismay of the TSA agents. Whatever.
Time check 2:30. Flight was at 2:45 - slight delay - so instead of pulling a Curtis Martin (hey, it's Newark, close to the Meadowlands where the Jets play, might as well use #28 as the point of reference) to gate A119, I just had to briskly walk. And I made it in time.
Ok, more when I arrive back in the MKE.
Since I've Been Gone, pt. I
(author's note: This blog entry will be a multi-part entry, from airport layover to airport layover.)Part I
Right now, I'm sitting in the Bruce Sundlun Terminal of T.F. Green Airport in God's Country (Providence, RI for those of you great unwashed).
It's Thursday, Dec. 29. I've been home since last Thursday. For those of you mathematically challenged folks, that's a wee bit more than a week.
Since September, I've been as far away from the Naughty Northeast (hey, if the South can be Dirrrty, then the Northeast can be Naughty. Or nimble. Or nonsensical. Whatever.) And needless to say, it was a nice trip home. Nice to see the family. Good to see friends. And considering I got to O'Hare Airport literally 14 minutes before they closed the door to my flight, the harrowing beginnings certainly led to some relaxing downtime.
So how did this mess come about - the running late thing, I mean - ? Easy.
For one, I chose to save a few bucks to fly out of O'Hare (as in Chicago, the busiest g-d airport West of Heathrow, a P-I-T-A to get to, and whatever) rather than leaving from Milwaukee. Fine. Good idea on paper.
Rather than pay the roughly $46,000 to park at O'Hare for roughly more than a week (ok, I'm exaggering - it's only $37,000), I spent 42 quid on the Wisconsin Bus Lines airport service. Another good idea on paper.
The website said that the bus left from the 13th Street Terminal. Good! I live on the corner of 12th! And I always see buses rolling through campus, down Wisconsin. The 7:50 bus would get me to O'Hare at 9:15 or so. Short walk to the long bus. Slight wait for the plane. Right? Wrong.
It's 7:55. No bus. It's 8:00. No bus. In a panic, I call the bus company.
They confirm my fears. No bus. Not there, at least. I live on the North Side of 13th. The terminal was on the South Side of 13th. Not good. In a panic, I hail a cab, get to the train station - the closest bus stop to where I was standing at that point, and caught the 8:20. Which really was the 8:50, if you use the 1st bus as a frame of reference. And using that "add an hour to it" reference point, I'd be getting into O'Hare, on paper, at 10:15.
My flight's at 11. It's Christmas time. It's the busiest airport in the country.
Nothing happens on paper. Things go wrong.
For me, in this case, "slow" = "wrong." Like making a stop in every town from Milwaukee, to Kenosha, Racine, Bumbleshampoo, Aardvark (author's note: there isn't an Aardvark, Wisconsin. Well, maybe there is. But we didn't stop there.) And at each and every stop, annoyingly hyper kids and one-foot-in-the-grave old people got on. Not the picture of efficiency.
You know you're getting close to an airport when all the billboards are airline related. "Southwest Vacations." "United Airlines." "Visit Tampa." "Turn right for Airport."
Another way you know that you're approaching an airport is traffic. And we hit some. Not bumper-to-bumper, but enough to slow the rate of acceleration of the Coach USA bus to an accelerated crawl. Time check: 10:15. Not at the airport yet.
Around 10:25, we pull into O'Hare's Terminal One. A woman so old that I think I heard her saying she sat next to Dolly Madison (wife of our fourth President, James Madison) in homeroom at Orange County H.S. in colonial Virginia in 1767.(historical note: yes, everyone, the original O.C. was in colonial Virginia, not the one with Seth Cohen and Summer...who both happen to be considering colleges in Rhode Island. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, EVERYTHING IN THIS UNIVERSE REVOLVES AROUND RHODE ISLAND. It's best if you just accept it and move on, really.)
So this woman was getting off the bus at about the same rate a sea urchin moves from rock to rock on the ocean floor. Ever see "March of the Penguins?" That was about as fast as she moved on the sidewalk, which would be no big whoops if the bus driver wasn't personally walking her to the gate.
It's now 10:35.
Calling my Dad to tell him that I probably was not going to make the flight home. Cursing myself for trying to save 150 bucks by going to O'Hare, now confronted with the possibility of buying a walk-up ticket for a same-day flight...and those things cost, well, about as much as pahking your cah at O'Hare for a week.
Timeline, 10:37. The bus pulls up to Continental Terminal two. It's me. I triple-jump down the aisle, grab into the compartment under the bus, and make a mad dash to the ticket line. I wasn't sure if I had my own bags, but I have tags and so did these. If there were wrong, I could just ship them to the respective person. I was late. Like the prophet Ludacris says, "Move, Bitch. Get out the way."
My plane is boarding. More later when I land in Detroit Rock City.
(yeah, that headline's original)
Johnny Damon is a Yankee. And that sucks.
I liked Johnny. Bought one of those player t-shirts when he first signed with the Sox. Have a World Series Champion bobblehead. Took a pic with him at Spring Training.
Now, that's over. He joins Derek Jeter as the only Yankee I sort of like, kind of respect and wouldn't mind having play for the Sox. Except, he did. Crap. There goes another 20 bucks wasted on a t-shirt - I'll be putting that one with the Pokey Reese tee and the authentic Phil Seibel jersey (joke. it's a Mark Malaska.)
But it doesn't suck because, "oh gasp, Johnny's a Yankee!" No, it sucks because at present, the Red Sox roster is a mess. Granted they don't have a meaningful game till April, but still, they have four second basemen, and no centerfielder.
The Red Sox have plans. Their plans are to get rid of all the old guys from the other GM's. Exactly on player on their 40-man as of this morning was not either acquired by the new ownership or was there and re-upped: Manuel Aristides Ramirez. And we know that could end any ole' day now.
I don't begrudge Damon. I do not speak from first-hand experience, but 40 million and 52 million are different. And looking at their roster, I don't think the Yankees have gotten better. Who exactly is going to get the ball to Mo Rivera? Farnsworth? Villone. Yeah, ok. Who comes in when Moose or the Unit bomb out in the 3rd? Who is the 4th starter, Aaron Small?
And last I checked, Damon still can't throw the ball from 2nd to home without a bounce, so it's only a slight upgrade from Bernie Williams. (if the Sox sign him for anything more than a 4th/5th outfielder, I might 100% turn to the Brewers, I mean it.)
Are there options out there? Sure. What would it take to get Torii Hunter? Would the Mariners trade Ichiro? (yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my ass) .
And not to be sour grapes, but are Damon's best years ahead of him or behind?
Who knows. But after the initial sting of seeing Johnny shave, put on the Pinstripes with that horrible fellow Borasian A-Rod there, all gelled up and frosted (all you'd need was a Cowboy hat, a Willie Nelson CD and ass-less chaps for the press conference to morph into the Red Carpet at the premiere of Brokeback Mountain), once all that crap is over, it'll be much ado about nothing.
Paging Roger Clemens: there's a gigantic storyline waiting for you on line 21.
No Johnny Damon?
Well, at least we have four second basemen.
This shampooing sucks. There had better be a plan.
It better be Ichiro.
Why? How did this shampooing happen? And why do I have to hate Johnny Damon, now?
Well...now Anna Benson has competition.
This blows. I have a headache. I'm going to bed.
How Come I Didn't Get an Evite?
In an earlier blog post back in November, I talked about the fact that there was a Panda wedding in Thailand. And by wedding, I mean procession, music, cake, reception, guests (humans dressed in Panda suits) , and an ice sculpture.
Well, today, China held a birthday party for Basi - a 25-year old panda. What exactly do you get for the 25-year old Panda that has everything? Well, according to the article in the The Age, Basi was "showered her with presents and even her own website."
And as you can see from the picture above, Basi sat on a stool with a paper crown on her head and a plastic fork in her hand as two zookeepers fed her birthday cake.
**Some more details on the Basi Birthday Bash in Beijing (bonus points for the alliteration, s'il-vous plait):
**A song was specially written for the occasion and a special website was created for Basi. So far more than 5,000 people have viewed it. No truth to the rumor that Elton John offered a tune called "Panda in the Wind."
** Special stamps, postcards and calendars were also published for the big day
**The giant panda is also notorious for its lack of interest in sex.
The last note is kinda "out there." But I think it's proper to show that humans and Pandas are different. (with the exception of the "Marquette panda" in the photo, but that's another story altogether)
Don't think of 25 years old in human years. 25 year old humans go to the upper East Side to get drunk and hook up. 25 year old Pandas don't. They suffer through needless attention and ask to be brought back to their homes so they can eat soft food in solitude.
Pandas should get some sort of Panda Willard Scott to wish them a happy, happy, tell everyone that she still knits and waterskiis, has 77 grandchildren, and oh, boy, isn't she a pretty lady.
On behalf of TLBR Nation, and the entire world, I wish you a Happy Birthday Basi.
Hey, I Actually Updated my Blog!
Who to cheer for?
A team that I have despised my whole life, or a team that I've just grown to be completely ambivalent about?
The former continually celebrates something notable they did seven years before cable television was invented. The latter, up until a slight speedbump a few weeks back, was the gimp to the New England Patriots' Zed (Pulp Fiction reference).
So who do I root for: the '72 Dolphins or the previously undefeated Indianapolis Colts? Let's discuss my bitterness.
the Dolphins. Always have. I can't stand Dan Marino. I always thought his legacy would be how much he whined, bitched, and moaned instead of his gaudy numbers. He reminds me of the guy who pads his stats despite his team's losing late in games. He reminds me of all the things I hate watching in sports. He is probably the kind of guy who would bitch out the official scorer for depriving him of a meaningless stat number.
I hated the Isotoner glove commercials. I hate him on Inside the NFL on HBO and on CBS. The only time I liked seeing him on television, is when Boomer Esiason basically asked him "what the hell have you ever done?"
I did like him in Ace Ventura, though.
Aside from Marino, I also cringe when I think about old, washed-up jocks who still cling to those glory days. Don Shula - Hall of Fame coach. That quickly turns to Hall of Lame when he joins Bob Griese, Larry Csonka, and Nick Buonoconti when they toast their old news with vintage champagne.
Three words: give. it. up. It's weak. Besides, I believe there was a team that won 22 in a row, including a Super Bowl, a short time ago. And aside from the NFL Films DVD "22," you don't see anyone involved with that streak tapping a keg with the "Woo-hoo, our consecutive games won streak is alive! Pour a beer on me, Tedy!"
It's just lame. And I hate 'em. And they stank!
-- or --
Do I cheer for the Golden Boys?
You know...The pretty boys. The best quarterback in the history of the game. The best QB-wideout combo to ever be born of woman and man. The chosen ones. The best offensive conglomerate in football lore (yep, the same squad that pooped out a measley three points in the AFC Championship game last year, but I digress).
The Colts. Yes, it's impressive that they started off the season 6-0. Equally impressive is that they played a schedule that even an Atlantic-10 football school would consider "light." And yes, the seventh win was against the two-time defending World Champion New England Patriots, or at least, the shadow of a shell of the TTDWCNEP.
Peyton Manning. The best QB in the Universe. Mind you, he's won, um, uh, well, he's never won a big game in his life. And there's a guy in New England who has the money, the power, the bling, and the seriously hot actress girlfriend.
Peyton does stupid, annoying credit card commercials. Tom does them, but insists that his offensive line is with him. And they're funny. Hell, the O-Line steals the show - and it's sooooooo much better than protecting the hands that protect you. God, I hate Dan Marino. (Sorry, inner monologue peeking out again.)
The Colts lose. 14-1. The old men drink. One more year of glory.
Meanwhile, the team that still has the Vince Lombardi Trophy in their lobby. The same team that has the last two and three of the last four Vince Lombardi Trophies that were awarded, they're not gloating, drinking champagne in their glory or crying in their spilled milk.
They're getting healthy. They're getting better. They're getting back to form. And they're scaring the poopie-cocky-dookie out of the rest of the AFC.
So back to the original question: Colts undefeated or not? Old crusty Dolphin streak snapped or living on? I'll take the Patriots approach.
Since the road to the Super Bowl goes through Indianapolis, I'm for whatever makes Peyton Manning's record vs. Bill Belichick to 1-7.
Ok, onto other stuff:
Was watching tonight's SportsCenter. Sean Salisbury says "Watch out for the Patriots." Michael Irvin says "Don't bother, they're not deep enough." TLBR says "Check and see if one of Michael's friends left a crack pipe in his car again."
Are you nuts? Not deep enough? The Pats' last three opponents have managed, what, 10 points? Nice defense. Offensive linemen are catching touchdown passes. Seven, eight, even nine different guys are catching lasers from Brady.
Mike...they're deep enough. And they've sort of done this before. Just say no to blow.
Nomar to the Dodgers. Whew. Good.
I didn't want to loathe him with the Yankees.
And good for Frank McCourt. He couldn't buy the Red Sox, so he's assembling them on the West Coast. Only problem is, he's getting them all one or two years too late. Who's next, Ellis Burks?
Memo to President Bush: if you decided that listening to me ordering that thing over the phone for my parents for Christmas was in the best interests of National Security, don't call them and tell them.
God, you're the worst. The. worst. President. Ever.
How does that feel? You're the worst. Dead shampooing last. Warren Harding is in the basement no more.
And you can see the difference between the NFL and the Executive Branch of Government. When you're dealing with being the worst in the NFL, you get a chance to get draft Bush. When you're dealing with the Oval Office, all you get is a Bush who dodged the draft.
(ah, thank you)
Ok, that's about it. Hope everyone's Holiday season is going hunky-dory.
Nomar to the Red Sox
According to the Boston Herald, the Sox have had "only preliminary, internal discussions" about pursuing former SS Nomar Garciaparra.
I'd love to know see the transcript of that one.
Jed Hoyer: "We need a shortstop."
Larry Lucchino: "Yes, we do. How about Alex Gonzalez?"
Ben Cherington: "Well, how about No..."
Larry Lucchino: "No."
Jed Hoyer: "You know, No...?"
Larry Lucchino: "No."
Jed Hoyer: "Let me finish...how about No..."
Larry Lucchino: "No."
Ben Cherington: "Yes, that's the first syllable."
Larry Lucchino: "No."
I wouldn't be against it, because I really don't want to boo him. And since he was traded, and extended his stay in Chicago one additional year, it's not like he went directly from the Sox to the Yanks...which would precipitate virtual life-long loathing.
The guy doesn't have too many options, and since wifey's not kicking the ball around, he needs to feed his family.
But, again, whatever.
Nomar to the Yankees?
ESPN is reporting that Nomar might sign with the Yankees, conceivably to be an everyday utility player.
I'd be real upset if the 2001 Nomar showed up. But that guy is long-gone.
The 2006 Nomar fits in well with the likes of Giambi, Sheffield, Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano, and Steve Karsay - all guys who suffered mysterious, possibly intravenous-related injuries.
Birds do it. Bees do it. Wombats do it.
A cute and cuddly marsupial
Well, as this article
here in The Age
- Melbourne, Australia's newspaper of record - details, wombats have a very particular and unusual mating ritual. Some might call it S&M, some might call it getting freaky deaky, some might just be puzzled as to why someone has actually studied the libidos of wombats...but make no mistake about it: these wombats know how to get jiggy wit it.
According to the article
, prior to coitus, wombats perform a complicated dance, give their mates a bite on the rump and then let forth a series of ferocious backward kicks. So basically, wombats are Usher, Marv Albert, and Jet Li when it comes to the marsupial no-pants dance. Interesting, n'est-ce pas?
Along with being relatively puzzling, these findings are also relatively new. Puzzling because some scientist actually made it his work to tape wombats doing it, um, wombat-style...then watch wombat whoopie...and then detail it. (what's next, mating rituals of the wookie?)
Clive Marks, the Dr. Ruth of Wombats (not really, I just made that up), had this to say about his research: "With absolute precision, details of the wombat's sex life were recorded and, surprisingly, it seemed anything but modest
It gets weirder.
You need to read this link
. My main man Marks gave us the Kama Sutra of wombats.
We don't need that. Really, we don't. I rise and sleep with some sort of implicit understanding that boy wombats do stuff with other girl wombats and then, voila, more wombats.
And that's where I end this story because, well, it just needs to stop. It's troubling that someone is spending as much time researching this subject as he did...it's troubling that wombats are getting more action than me...and, well, it's just weird.
Besides, when it comes to sweet lovemaking, there's only one source you should turn to: Smoove B
And with that, I'm gone.
Welcome to TLBRCasting
Welcome to the new world of TLBR-ing.
I figured out a way, as primitive as it is, to podcast...or blogcast...or in this case, "TLBRCast
Since I only figured it out last night, there's very few bells, whistles, or Anchorman clips. And it's hosted on some random site. I hope it works.
I plan on coughing up the $2.95 a month or whatever to get a little bandwidth so that this might take off once or twice a week.
Either way, enjoy, and as always, feedback and comments are welcome below or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Whole New World
I stumbled upon something exciting today that could forever change the way I run TLBR...and the way you enjoy it.
Will hopefully have more tomorrow.
So sit anxiously by your computers, my lovelies. I might be on to something here.
Ok, onto the normal stuff.
Manny watch, day one, came and went. The gang of four for the Sox at the winter meetings maintain that they will not simply throw Manny away for a box of White Castle sliders. But, considering that they're not going to get anything even remotely close to comparable value, who cares?
Also nice to see the Blue Jays spend money. Must be from all the shampooing money they're making at their shitbox Spring Training field. I'm bitter b/c they canned my buddy Jay, who did a great job for them year in and year out. The Godfrey and Rogers families can't lose enough money, in my opinion.
Ok, I'm tired. Need sleepy. But I dunno if I can. This new announcement might keep me up all night, like Gilbert Godfried.
Watching Conan tonight.
Gisele is on. I love Gisele.
I'm, um, I have, the, um., specs with the girders. Without words. Retarded.
Thank you, god.
(and she's single)
The Wright Stuff
Ok, before I get into my sick and twisted theories, I'd like to make the 50/50 prediction here. If the Red Sox are going to trade Manny, it's to the Mets for a package that will include at least two, or maybe all, of the following: David Wright, Lastings Millege, Aaron Heilman.
Ok, here goes.
So let me get this straight...The Red Sox lose their golden boy G.M., who helped orchestrate a blockbuster deal around Thanksgiving, 2003, which sent Nomar out of town, brought Curt Schilling back to Boston, and planted the World Series trophy back to Fenway. Without said young, hotshot G.M., they then orchestrate another Turket Day trade, this time to get 25-year old Josh Beckett and his "blistering" fastball, Mike Lowell and his lumbering lumber, and Guillermo Mota, who used to be the shiznit (author's note: Derek Lowe also used to be the shiznit. But I digress.)
While trying to replace the homegrown G.M., the Red Sox try ot interview a bevy of folks to assume the position (in every sense of the word) on 4 Yawkey Way. Some of the fellow young hotshots say "thanks, but no thanks," and take other jobs or just continue in their quest to explain why E=MC2 means stolen bases are wasted outs.
On the other end of the spectrum, the New York Times/Boston Globe/NESN/Volvo/1-800-54-GIANT/front office troika interview some older candidates, in between their 49-cent coffee at McDonald's on Comm Ave. and half-price movies, creak their old bones in to talk about taking the job...and then drinking some prune juice.
But guess what? They don't need to. They have their answer. They got their answer when Theo Epstein decided to walk away from a 500% pay raise. The GM is virtually powerless, in big picture issues, in the Sox front office structure. Sure, if you want to deal Henri Stanley for Dave Roberts or some silly trade like that, fine. But if you balk at dealing some of the prized young studs on the farm for players that the owner has a man-crush on? Forget it, you're out.
Let the so-called gang of four keep doing what they're doing...because, to quote LL Cool J, they're doing it, and doing it, and doing it well. Jeremy Kapstein (representing Boston but raised back in Providence) has been revered as one of the most influential and intelligent guys in the biz. A former player agent and front office guy, Kapstein understands both ends of
the deal. And the young, old, and former player demographics are represented in Jed Hoyer, Bill LaJoie, and Craig Shipley.
How are they doing it well? Certainly the Beckett deal is exhibit A. But the way they are playing impending Manny Ramirez sweepstakes is bordering on pure genius.
Manny and his agent tried to force the Red Sox hand, by "going public" with his trade demands and essentially saying that if he's not dealt, he won't sashay into City of Palms Park 75 days from now, when pitchers and catchers report. That's not exactly a good move, for either party.
To eliminate the leverage that the Sox have also eliminates the market. A team is not
going to give up an equal or close-to-equal package if they know that Manny is holding the Sox over the coals. And the Sox aren't just going to give him away, as they proved at the trade deadline last year. (arguments can be made that Theo pulled the plug on that one, despite the intentions of Lucchino...oh well, that's over...)
The gang of four has had to re-create the market for Manny, pouncing on any and all opportunities to create "competition" for the services of the second-best right-handed hitter in the game.
Omar Minaya would probably give his right arm, and potentially a few toes, to get Manny. As the New York Daily News reported last week, he has even worked with a graphic designer to come up with some "Manny's a Met" ads. Nice, slick. Good move.
Since taking over as Mets GM, he has made Manny a priority. In fact, as it seems, Minaya has made every Latin American free agent an offer. The only ones without a contract tendered, I believe, is Horatio Sanz and Charo.
So as Paul Konerko decided to stay with the Pale Hose, the right-handed power hitter Christmas list got one name shorter. The teams that were in the Konerko sweepstakes had to decide whether or not they are interested in Manny. The teams that were slightly interested in Manny have to poop or get off the pot. The team(s) that were very interested in Manny - ok, just the
Mets - know that the stakes just went up a bit.
So what do the Red Sox do now? The gang of four creates a market. Anaheim wants in. And all of a sudden, Philly wants in. Philly...same division as the Mets...play 19 times...short left field porch...is Omar sweating yet?
Manny put his penthouse up for sale last week, and next week, the annual GM meetings are being held in Dallas. Then, we'll know for sure if Omar Minaya gets his Man(ny), the Sox get the Mets' future, and if it's "business as usual" on 4 Yawkey Way.
But whoever is doing the job, I'd like them to tell me more about Jermaine Van Buren. I know who Jermaine Dupri is, Jermaine Jackson even. Same goes for Martin Van Buren and Lt. Anita Van Buren from Law & Order. But this guy is supposed to compete for a bullpen spot?